We can’t look away: the guilt-inducing spectacle of outdoor fitness

What is it that stirs agitation when we witness displays of athletic pride? Is it simply that we feel guilty for not exercising?

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Preti Taneja’s ‘awe-inspiring’ reimagining of King Lear wins Desmond Elliott prize

Debut novel We That Are Young takes £10,000 award after early struggles to find a publisher

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The best recent crime novels – review roundup

This Is What Happened by Mick Herron, The Blood Road by Stuart MacBride, The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney, The Poison Bed by EC Fremantle and A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss

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‘Painting is a high-wire act’: Olivia Laing on sitting for the artist Chantal Joffe

While being painted, author Olivia Laing pens her own portrait of Chantal Joffe and hears why painting is like hairdressing

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The One Who Wrote Destiny by Nikesh Shukla review – funny and fascinating

This tale about a British-Asian family tackles trauma and intergenerational relationships with wit and wisdom

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My life as a bookworm: what children can teach us about how to read

To adults, rereading feels like an indulgence – but for children it is a necessity. Lucy Mangan reflects on a childhood spent with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Milly-Molly-Mandy

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Book clinic: recommended literary page-turners

This week, our expert suggests a selection of books to rekindle the joy of reading in even the most battle-hardened litterateur

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The Beautiful Cure by Daniel M Davis review – how our immune system has shaped world history

A terrific book by a consummate storyteller and scientific expert considers the past and future of the body’s ability to fight disease and heal itself

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Why should we subsidise writers who have lost the plot?

I’m not surprised sales of literary fiction are in decline – too many authors fail to engage their readers with any sort of story
• Tim Lott is an author and journalist

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National Book Awards: Jesmyn Ward wins major prize for Sing, Unburied, Sing

Author takes out top prize for fiction for the second time with novel about race, poverty, loss and family in America’s south

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Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week?

Your space to discuss the books you are reading and what you think of them

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Mike McCormack: ‘On my fifth book I’m a debutante’

The cult Irish writer is back with a prize-winning novel, Solar Bones, after a decade in the doldrums

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